Bailey has had arthritis for several years now but due to the miracle of Metacam she has had relatively good quality of life. Last week she developed a bladder infection. The weekend was VERY bad. We were hoping that she would bounce back but she was getting worse. By Monday night I called two of the vets that we use frequently and asked if they would come out to our house to guide her to peace. Both vets do not have mobile licenses. The local vet asked me to bring her in on Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock. We had taken Bailey into the local vet last week to treat her bladder infection and even the short drive into the vet clinic was very hard on her arthritis and on her mentally. By Tuesday morning Al and I were two blubbering basket cases. Neither of us could muster up the strength or courage to take her into the vet and we didn't want to put her through the drive to the vet. I think we were looking for any excuse to postpone the inevitable - two sobbing grown ups stripped of their usual strong resolution. We were hoping she would bounce back like she had before.
Today I realized I was being selfish. I was thinking of the thousand reasons that I still needed her to be a part of my life. But I was forgetting the most important thing - that she needed me to unselfishly make the right decision for her. It was clear she was suffering. I called a Mobile Vet in Peterborough (Dr. Jenny Laing of Otonabee Vet Clinic) and asked her to come out to the house. Dr. Laing met us at the house this afternoon and the minute she entered the house I saw a peace come over Bailey. It was if she was saying "thank you for coming". This Vet is one of the most caring and sensitive people I have ever met. She counseled us and guided Bailey peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge. It was very spiritual and it was very peaceful.
Bailey is now buried by our perennial garden (my favourite spot in the whole wide world). We have planted a red maple tree close to her because our fondest memories are of Bailey sleeping soundly under a huge maple tree that we use to have in our old home in Dunsford. It was her favourite spot in the whole world.
I have many fond memories of Bailey. I remember the time we picked her up as a 7 week old puppy. She laid on the grass and cried - demanding attention, cookies and to be cuddled. Things pretty much stayed the same for the next fourteen years. I remember we took her to the beach several years ago and no matter how much we hollered, promised or threatened, she wouldn't come out of the water until SHE was finished swimming in figure eights. We couldn't drag her away from her true calling in life - to be a water dog.
Bailey had a lot of nicknames. She was known as "Glenacres' Bailey Harbour" when she was my little angel. She was known as "Fats" when she was being particularly demanding (especially for biscuits) but most of the time she was known as "Bailey Buckets". That nickname started when she was one year old. We were at the cottage and fishing off the dock and we kept catching lots of Sunfish. We were convinced we caught the same Sunfish at least a dozen times, so we decided we would put the Sunfish we caught in a bucket until we were finished fishing. About an hour later and 17 Sunfish later I said to Al "I can swear I'm still catching the same fish". I put the fish in the bucket and was baiting my hook when I looked back and saw Bailey put her head in the Bucket, pull the fish out and drop it back in the lake. It WAS the same fish I was catching. Bailey believed in live release too and I think in many ways she was poking fun at us!
Bailey has been a lot of firsts for both Al and I. She was our first "commitment" as a husband and wife. She was our first breeding dog. As I write this I can hear her two week old Great Great Grandchildren making those joyous puppy sounds. She has left a wonderful legacy. But more firsts. She was our first "Reserve Winners Bitch" (and our seventeenth "Reserve Winners Bitch"). She was the first CD title we put on a dog. She was the first dog (and only dog) that could force Grandma into giving her an entire bag of biscuits. She definitely had a way about her. The other dogs adored Bailey and it was always clear who was in charge, yet they all wanted to cuddle with her. I have pictures of: Pugs snuggled in Baileys arms, a Kitten snuggled in Baileys arms, a Lamb snuggled in Baileys arms, a Raccoon snuggled in Baileys arms, over the years many many lab pups snuggled in Baileys arms, a Belgian Shepherd pup snuggled in Baileys arms, three baby ducks (Huey, Dewey and Louie) snuggled in Baileys arms. But the best picture of all and the one I shall always cherish the most is the picture of Bailey snuggled in our arms.
Rest well my dear friend until we meet again. Thank you for the love you have given us.
WE MISS YOU "BAILEY BUCKETS" AND WE LOVE YOU!!!